Dragon Soul by J.B. McDonald
Publisher: Torquere Press
Length: Short Story (44 pgs)
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Fern
Everything was supposed to work out. They had the dragon under control, they were back with the mercenaries - things were supposed to be good now. That was the plan. Then word of plague in Katsu's country arrives, and with it knowledge that will shatter everything Ashe thought he knew about his lover.
When Katsu has to make a choice between Ashe or sailing overseas to a country that abandoned him to save a beloved sister—Well, some choices are harder than others. Some are nearly impossible to make.
Ashe, an elf, and his human lover, Katsu are travelling to catch up with Ashe’s mercenary group and chosen family, when Katsu all but falls over a woman from his homeland. Ashe discovers there is far more to Katsu than he previously knew about. Katsu’s parents need help but are too proud to mend bridges and ask for it.
This is a book within a series and although I haven’t read any of the previous ones I managed to keep up quite well. Despite the title, the dragon appeared more of a familiar/separate part of Ashe and a small part of the book as a whole. Ashe and Katsu’s relationship deepens and this book is predominantly character driven, almost a stepping stone between what seems to be the last battle and an oncoming challenge. This book has set up the future of the series quite well.
I found Ashe and Katsu to be deeply complex characters and extremely interesting. While the sex was hot and intense, it also was quite a small part of the story as a whole. Although set in an alternate world, the Sci Fi/Fantasy aspect wasn’t overwhelming, and the world was richly described. At heart this book was about the blossoming depth of Ashe and Katsu, as they fall more in love, and trust one another with their secrets and bare their souls to each other. I really enjoyed seeing this and was pleased neither character was overly charming/perfect – they each have their faults and still work well and realistically together. Their love is genuine and their issues easy to relate to. I really enjoyed this book.